We Never Learn! (Bokuben)

Genre(s): School, Comedy, Romance, Harem

Age-Appropriateness: 14+ (Suggestive themes, partial nudity)

Platforms: Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation

Episodes: 26

TheAwersome Rating: 7.1 / 10 (Cliché and exhausting at times, but has some moments)

Premise: Under Nariyuki Yuiga’s devoted tutelage, his classmates Rizu Ogata, Fumino Furuhashi, and Uruka Takemoto are finally pulling average test scores on their worst subjects (despite being geniuses in other categories). But time is ticking, and there is still a long way to go before they are ready for their upcoming university exams. Meanwhile, the girls still struggle to balance the pursuit of their dreams with their growing affections for their unsuspecting tutor.

TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This show certainly is loaded with a lot of anime clichés and it was overall, quite taxing to watch. Our main protagonist has a blank personality other than being nice, oblivious, and you guessed it, gets very loud and flustered the moment any situation could be misconstrued as him being a perv. This happens multiple times per episode. Jokes about boob size and girls getting catty about it make an appearance around every episode as well. For some reason his little sister is obsessively possessive of him (I never understood this trope, has this ever been a thing?). One girl actually has her head on straight and is understanding and sensitive to social situations, so naturally she has to be absolutely abysmal at cooking, which is another oddly specific anime trope.

That being said, there were definitely some good moments, jokes, and solid farce scenarios (though they try to repeat them too often, IMO) that made this not wholly unpleasant to watch. I never really dreaded watching another episode.

TLDR: Very cliché, but with some good moments.

Maybe it’s having come freshly from Citrus where everyone was very candid about their feelings, but the constant “WHa- whaaaatt?? NO, it’s my FRIEND who thinks she uh—might have a crush. *major blush*” nonsense wasn’t doing it for me. I’m all for seeing characters grow from that point to being honest with themselves and others, but there was literally no growth in that regard for anyone.

There is the classic harem ending of “we kind of hint that maybe the protagonist got with one of the girls, but we don’t want to step on anyone’s “best girl” dreams, so we won’t be explicit about anything.” I only felt that one of the characters had any real emotional connection and would be any flavor of a match for the main character. Also, there’s a hefty serving of discomfort in having a teacher be somewhat one of the harem candidates. I don’t care that she was a more interesting character than the other girls, or that there wasn’t any true indication that she had any feelings; she got as much screen time and ecchi scenarios as the others, so it was still uncomfortable.

You’ll likely enjoy this if you enjoyed:

5 thoughts on “We Never Learn! (Bokuben)

Add yours

  1. I remember reading about how they handled the ending, it was unique in the sense that… well, everyone wins in their shipping war! (Unless if you picked outside the box) 😂

    My favourite moment from this series personally was when Fumino and Yuiga explored her relationship with her father and helped her to gain the courage to tell him how she really felt about pursuing a career in astronomy, and that bit with her admiring her mother. It’s the deepest moment that’s come from this flick and I can still remember the important moments even to this day. (Helps too that I’ve somewhat written a post on it from a while back)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly how I feel as well! Like it only made sense that they’re coupled together instead of whatever was supposed to be the original canon (I think it was Uruka, if I’m not mistaken), which just felt too forced. How could you not ship them together logically after all they’ve gone through?

        The only other person I would have accepted with was Rizu, but that’s more based on my own personal experience of knowing a girl who was much like her in high school. Even then they still don’t have the same emotional intensity as with Fumino though…

        Liked by 1 person

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